A Web Office is an application in SWITCHdrive which enables you to create and edit standard Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) inside a browser window, without requiring any software from a locally installed Office application to be executed.

With the web office application of SWITCHdrive, you can now open and edit office files in a browers on any computer which is connected to the internet. The Web Office application runs completely on SWITCH data centers located in Switzerland. There is no office code executed outside of these data centers and no data whatsoever is shared or made available to any party outside of SWITCH.

SWITCH selected OnlyOffice as the application for providing the Web Office integration to SWITCHdrive. OnlyOffice has a clean user interface, excellent compatibiltiy with Standard Microsoft Office documents and powerful collaboration tools.

With OnlyOffice in SWITCHdrive you can create and edit text documents (docx), spreadsheets (xlsx) and presentations (pptx) all within SWITCHdrive. When you open an office document in a browser using the SWITCHdrive web client, you can work collaboratively on the same document in real time with others, while all can see the changes to the document. By editing Office documents in a browser you can effectively avoid version conflicts that commonly occur when working independently with local documents and synchronising them after saving the document and closing the office application.

Use the SWITCHdrive web client and go to the directory where you want to create a new office document. Click the Plus-icon at the top to display the pop up menu. Note that you can not only upload a file, create a new folder or a new text file, but you can now also create a document, a spreadsheet and a presentation.


Choosing one of these 3 menu options will open the so called OnlyOffice online editor which allows you to create an office document directly in the web browser.

This online editor keeps all the formating details and provides a very high compatiblitly to the original Microsoft office document. You can also print the document or save it in a different format (for example PDF, TXT, RTF, HTML, ODT, ODS, ODP or CSV).


Yes, simply move the files into your switchdrive folder and open them via the SWITCHdrive web client.

If you open the files locally in the FileExplorer or in the Finder, then the corresponding office application will be launched, which is in most cases Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint).

Please note that co-editing is not available when the files are opened locally. However all the editing will be synchronised to the other clients when you save or close the document again.

First, you need to share the file (or the parenting folder containing the document) with edit permission to your collaborators. We strongly recommend to share the document by direct link only so you can always see who is actually editing the document (otherwise you would see "Anonymous" as the collaborator's name).

For example, if you want to co-edit the document "Agenda.doc" inside the folder "Project D", share the file (or the entire folder "Project D") with edit permission to your collaborators. Just click on the share icon and enter the names of the collaborators. Edit permission is already set by default when you share a file this way.

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 09.55.12

Second, you need to inform your collaborators to open the file in a browser -  not in their local office application! This can be done easily by sending an email to your collaborators which contains a link that opens the document in OnlyOffice right away. To get this link, open the document in your web-client and copy the address line of your browser to your clipboard:

 Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 10.32.58

Write an email to your collaborators and paste this link in it, for example:  
"Dear collaborators, please click on this link (https://drive.switch.ch/index.php/apps/onlyoffice/1877227087) to open the document in your web-browser. Add your comments or edits as soon as possible."

Actually you do not need to add the filePath to the document, but if you do the link is still working fine and OnlyOffice opens the correct document.

In order to edit a document you need to have upload & edit permission to the file or to the parenting folder of the file.

If they do not have the correct permisison, a rather unprecise "File not found" in red is displayed. Please ask the owner of the document to give you the required edit permission.

Maybe you have only received a private link to the document, for example  https://drive.switch.ch/index.php/f/1263899011 

If you replace "/f/" by "/apps/onlyoffice/" then OnlyOffice will open the document in a browser.

It is strongly recommended NOT to use public links in combination with OnlyOffice. Synchronising files in public folders is working fine in SWITCHdrive, but OnlyOffice cannot detect who is editing a document and displays "Anonymous" as the persons name.

As soon as a collaborator is adding a public folder to his or her switchdrive account, OnlyOffice can not detect any more that the same file is opened by different users. OnlyOffice and ownCloud are working on a solution to this known issue when Federated Cloud-IDs are used.

Until this is fixed we recommend to only share a document directly when you want to work with your collaborators on a document at the same time. You will also see the text cursors of other users with their real names while you all edit the document. 

You have to create a public link of the parent folder and send it per email to the person who should co-edit your document. Note that the public link to the document itself will not work, you have to go up one level to the parent folder and share it with edit permission!

The person receiving the public link must not add the shared folder to his or her switchdrive account, because OnlyOffice will then treat the document as two different files and collaboration is not possible (although the edits are saved to one single file when the Document Editor is closed). 

Any person who will open the document via the public link will be listed as "Anonymous" in the Chat Window of OnlyOffice. Other persons who open the document because they have received a direct link will be listed with their first and last names. Click on the chat icon to see all the persons who are co-editing the document.

It is recommended to only share documents by direct link to other SWITCHdrive users in order to keep track of the changes and to clearly identify persons who are modifing your document.

Document Editor is an online application that lets you review and edit documents directly in a web browser window. Using Document Editor, you can perform various editing operations like in any desktop editor, print the edited documents keeping all the formatting details or download them to your computer hard disk drive as DOCX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, or HTML files.

For detailed help please follow this link to the ONLYOFFICE support page for Document Editor.

Spreadsheet Editor is an online application that lets you edit your spreadsheets directly in a web browser window. Using Spreadsheet Editor, you can perform various editing operations like in any desktop editor, print the edited spreadsheets keeping all the formatting details or download them to your computer hard disk drive as XLSX, ODS, CSV, or PDF file.

For detailed help please follow this link to the ONLYOFFICE support page for Spreadsheet Editor.

Presentation Editor is an online application that lets you review and edit presentations directly in a web browser window. Using Presentation Editor, you can perform various editing operations like in any desktop editor, print the edited presentations keeping all the formatting details or download them to your computer hard disk drive as PPTX, PPSX, PDF, or ODP files.

For detailed help please follow this link to the ONLYOFFICE support page for Presentation Editor.

There is no Save button, just close your web-browser and your document is saved.

Actually there would be a "Save" command in the File menu of OnlyOffice, but it is usually grayed-out because the default save setting in OnlyOffice is set to "Autosave". This means that the document is permanently saved in the background. We recommend to keep this setting on "Autosave", but if needed you can change this option in the Advanced Settings of OnlyOffice.

Because all your edits are permanently saved, there is also no Cancel button to ignore all your edits to a document. If you want to do this close your web-browser (and hereby save the document). Then go to the versions tab of your document and restore a previous version.

Caution: Please be aware that the document is saved and synchronised only to SWITCHdrive if all web-browser sessions are closed (not just your editing session, but also the editing sessions of your collaborators). To see how many editing sessions are still open check the online user icon ( ScrShot3481 ) in the top right corner of your browser window. As long as the number of users (or sessions!) is greater than 0 the document is not saved and transferred to SWITCHdrive.

Note: if you or a collaborator forgets to close the web-session, OnlyOffice will automatically save the document after 1h or inactivity.

Only after all OnlyOffice sessions are closed, the document will be transferred from the OnlyOffice server to the SWITCHdrive server. Once it is stored or updated on the SWITCHdrive server it usually takes about 1 minute until the document is synchronised to all the other clients.

If the current load of the system is high, this could also take a little bit longer. To be on the safe side, wait for the desktop notification that the document was updated before you open the document with your local office application or process it any further.


(Make sure you have turned on the desktop notifications in the switchdrive settings)

When a long web session is taking place, it is strongly recommended to store a version of your document from time to time, just to be on the safe side if there is a network interruption or another problem that prevents you or the collaborators from saving your edits to the current document.

To create a local version of your document, click on the "File" menu entry (1) and then click on "Download as...". 

Click on the DOCX file format on the right (3) and wait until document is successfully stored in your local Downloads folder. Then continue to edit your document by clicking the "Home" menu entry (1).

If everything is fine at the end of the web-session you can ignore the downloaded versions in your local Downloads folder or delete them somewhen later. If not, open the latest version from your Downloads folder and store it in the location where the original document was.